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National Air Cargo Boeing 747 Crashes Just After Takeoff Killing All Onboard
By Daniel Baxter

April 30, 2013 - On Monday a National Air Cargo Boeing 747-400, N949CA crashed just after takeoff from the U.S. operated air base, Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan at 11:20 a.m. local time. All seven crewmembers onboard were killed and the airplane destroyed.  

National Airlines Flight 102 was an international cargo flight was operating as charter cargo flight for coalition forces was destined for Dubai World Central - Al Maktoum International Airport, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. National Air Cargo is a U.S. air carrier in Orchard Park, New York. 

The carrier operates on demand cargo and passenger charter services. Its main base is Orlando International Airport, Orlando. The seven crew members were all American citizens. The accident site was within the perimeter of the air base.


Although the Taliban have claimed responsibility for the downing of Flight 102, initial reports based on communications from the crew after takeoff indicate that the crash was caused by an accidental load shift which caused the aircraft to become unstable and eventually led to the loss of control by the pilots. The National Transportation Safety Board will lead a team to assist the Afghanistan Ministry of Transportation and Commercial Aviation in the investigation of a cargo plane crash. 

NTSB Senior Air Safety Investigator Tim LeBaron will be the U.S. accredited representative. He will lead a team of three additional investigators from the NTSB as well as representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration and The Boeing Company. Onboard Flight 102 was 4 pilots, 2 mechanics and a load master.

Crew – Jamie Brokaw, pilot, Monroe, MI, Brad Hasler, pilot, Trenton, MI, Jeremy Lipka, pilot, Brooklyn, MI, Rinku Summan, pilot, Canton, MI, Michael Sheets, loadmaster, Ypsilanti, MI, Gary Stockdale, mechanic, Romulus, MI, Timothy Garrett, mechanic, Louisville, KY.



Several observers on the ground and a video of the aircraft taking off shows the aircraft had a high nose pitch as it climbed to 1200 feet, it then appeared to have stalled, (see Fundamentals of Stall Recovery) rolled the right, then crashed and burst into a ball of flames. 

Boeing released a statement which stated the “Company extends sincere condolences to the families and friends of the crew who perished in the crash of a National Air Cargo flight near Bagram, Afghanistan. At the request of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, Boeing will provide technical assistance to investigating authorities. (see Fine Air DC-8 Crashes Just After Takeoff MIA Killing All Onboard. In this case the National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of the accident, which resulted from the airplane being misloaded.)

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